Cast Iron Chicago-Style Pepperoni Pan Pizza

Why This Recipe Works

Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is known for its special tender crust, which is crisp on the bottom and chewy in the middle. To make a dough with just the right consistency, we used milk instead of water, which also gave the crust a richer flavor. While whole milk is fine, we found that skim milk helped the dough rise better and bake up especially soft and light. Kneading the dough in a stand mixer also helped it attain a perfect chewy-yet-plush texture. A cast-iron skillet was the perfect cooking vessel for our deep-dish pizza: It evenly distributed heat from the oven to the dough, producing a browned and crisp crust across the bottom and edges, and its tall sides made it the ideal vessel for this thick, layered type of pizza. For the toppings, we precooked the pepperoni in our skillet to drive off excess grease. We followed Chicago tradition and layered the cheese underneath the sauce and pepperoni, with an added sprinkle of Parmesan on top of the pie for even more pronounced cheesy flavor.


Print Shopping List

3 ounces thinly sliced pepperoni
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons warm skim milk (110 degrees)
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ¾ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 ¾ cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups)
1 ½ cups pizza sauce
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Nutritional Information


Per Serving (Serves 4)

  • Calories 657
  • Cholesterol 78 mg
  • Fat 31 g
  • Sodium 1221 mg
  • Saturated 14 g
  • Carbs 60 g
  • Trans 0 g
  • Dietary Fiber 4 g
  • Monounsaturated 12 g
  • Sugar 7 g
  • Polyunsaturated 2 g
  • Protein 29 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Serves 4

1. Cook pepperoni in 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat until rendered and beginning to crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pepperoni to paper towel–lined plate; set aside. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels.

2. Whisk milk, oil, and yeast together in 2-cup liquid measuring cup until yeast is dissolved. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in bowl of stand mixer. Using dough hook on low speed, slowly add milk mixture and mix until dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-low and continue to mix until dough is smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 1 minute. Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl, cover tightly with greased plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

4. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Press and roll dough into 12-inch round on lightly floured counter. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto now-empty skillet. Ease dough into skillet by gently lifting and supporting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into corners and 1 inch up sides with your other hand. Cover with plastic and let rest until dough is puffy and slightly risen, 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Sprinkle mozzarella over surface of dough and top with pepperoni. Spread sauce over pepperoni, then sprinkle with Parmesan. Set skillet over medium-high heat and cook until outside edge of dough is slightly puffed, about 3 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until crust is golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes, rotating skillet halfway through baking.

6. Using potholders, transfer skillet to wire rack and let pizza cool for 10 minutes. Being careful of hot skillet handle, slide pizza onto cutting board using spatula and cut into wedges. Serve.